- Biomedical Research (2010) Volume 21, Issue 4
Anaphylactic patient characteristics, clinical features, and current prac-tice in the Emergency Unit.
We aim to assess patient characteristics, clinical features, and the current practice in the management of anaphylaxis. We conducted a retrospective review of anaphylactic patients among emergency department visitors from January, 2007 to January 2008, in Tawam hos-pital, Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates (UAE). Data pertaining patient’s age, sex, clinical fea-tures, involved systems, past history of allergy, type of the allergen, treatment and outcome (death, discharge, re-admission, and follow up) was collected in a two page questionnaire. A total number of 123 patient charts were reviewed. Overall, 69.1% subjects had a known history of allergic disease out of which only 31.8% of the subjects (males and females) were aware of the nature of their allergic disease and the triggering allergen. Regarding the cur-rent episode of anaphylaxis, most of patients (98 %) and regardless of their history, re-ported knowledge of the triggering allergen, the overwhelming majority (77%) of whom were exposed to hymenoptera (ants, wasps, and bees). Although unexpected, a considerable number of cases (21.1%) were said to have been exposed to scorpion bites. The reported symptoms and the severity of cases varied from simple itching to significant involvement of the cardiovascular system. Most of the subjects were transported to hospital by a family member as opposed to the existing ambulance services. Overall, antihistamines and oral steroids, but not adrenalin, were the treatments of choice. No prolonged hospitalization was recorded as all patients were, presumably, treated satisfactorily and discharged on the same the day. The current study reports that the vast majority of anaphylaxis cases seen in the emergency unit were due to Hymenoptera exposure. Thus, specific immunotherapy may ef-fectively minimize the risk of recurrence. However, a significant number of cases are either under-reported or under-diagnosed, and though less convincing, there were no sever cases of anaphylaxis. Prevention measures and treatment strategies should include awareness programs among health care professionals and patients to encourage follow up and targeted treatment. Key words: Anaphylaxis,Author(s): Shirina Alsowaidi, Amna Al Hana, Khalid M. Zarouni, Ahmed H. Al Zaabi, Abdishakur Abdulle